Catalyst plays back movies and displays images in visual layers. These layers can be mixed in Catalyst to create new images.


Figure 1 - Mixing images.


Figure 2 – Workflow with full screen output.



The layers mixed together in Catalyst can be played back full screen through a single video system or different video systems can play back different parts of one or more images.

When using the pixelMad option the images can be mapped to the lighting set up so that each lamp displays one pixel of the mixed image. In this way the DMX fixture colour and intensity level is controlled directly from the video image.




The Catalyst user interface


The Catalyst user interface has two modes, the set up mode and full screen mode.


Set up mode overview

When Catalyst is first run it opens in set up mode. The main windows here are the Catalyst control window, the library window and the cue list window.


Figure 3 - Catalyst in Set Up Mode.


The control window is a long window with many panels used to configure the flow of information in and out of Catalyst.




Figure 4 - Catalyst control window.

From the Catalyst Control Window you can network multiple computers, set the preferences for output screens, assign DMX channels for layers and other objects and configure many different MIDI timecode and serial devices.


The first panel in the control window is the catalyst control panel.

Figure 5 - CIB and Remote status panel.


From here the CIB (Catalyst Interface Box) status can be monitored, remote commands can be sent to other networked computers and playback fps can be altered.


Preferences for the output screens can be set in the next two panels.


Figure 6 - Output screen preference panels.


The DMX channel patching window is used to assign DMX channels to

image layers, layer volume control, preset trigger, RS 422 and serial devices.

Figure 7 - DMX channel patching window.


Other panels enable you to configure external MIDI timecode and serial devices to be controlled by Catalyst.


Figure 8 - MIDI show control output panel.


Figure 9 - Sony 9-pin RS422 control set up.


Figure 10 - Custom serial device control set up.

Full screen mode

Full screen mode is used to view and transform content. It is launched using hotkeys and controlled through a number of HUD buttons.


There are 8 hotkeys for opening and closing full screen mode and the HUD (heads up display), 4 for each of the two screen outputs that most versions of Catalyst have.


Figure 11 - Hotkeys for screen 1.


Figure 12 Hotkeys for screen 2.


For screen output 1, to go into full screen mode press 



To get back to the Control window press  



Once you are in Full screen mode press  




This turns on the HUD – The “heads up display” which gives access to the rest of Catalyst’s functions.


Figure 13 - Full screen mode with the HUD turned on.


Figure 14 – The HUD.


From the HUD click on libraries to choose your footage and visual effects.


Click on Layers to select the HUD for mixing and manipulating images.



Click on Mix 1 – 8 to view more than one image mix on one screen.



Click on pixel Mixes when using the pixelMad application. pixelMad lets you display an image or a movie on a lighting set up so that each pixel from the image is displayed on one lamp from a large grid of luminaries.

In the pixel mixes window you can place the image mixes on a graphic representation of your lighting set up and see how the image will look on the lighting fixtures. 

Click on Inputs when you want to set up video or sound input.



Click on Screen to choose your monitor screen setup.


Figure 15 - Choosing a screen preset.


Click on DMX Artnet to configure Artnet devices.



Document revisions

Software and document revisionChanges
m150 first doc version sep 09